Dane Creek Capital Corp. (DCCC) believes the next generation of pet food and treats will have a focus on sustainability.
Early in November, DCCC announced the creation of Dockside Pet Products and Services Inc. (Dockside), an innovative new pet food products company with a mission to deliver the best in pet nutrition using rescued fresh food waste and environmentally sustainable ingredients sourced in Nova Scotia. Both DCCC and Dockside were founded by owners Mark Warren and Glen Tennison, who together have over 30 years of business experience in the pet industry.
“Nova Scotia has well-established agricultural and marine industries supported by a government motivated to stimulate economic growth while also finding ways to reduce underutilized resources,” said Mark Warren, Chairman and CEO at Dockside. “By purchasing these ingredients from farmers, fishers, and fish processors in the province we’re creating value and helping to solve a problem.”
Dockside also has a vested interest in using research to develop their product line. In November 2016, Dockside announced a partnership with Nova Scotia’s Perennia Food and Agriculture Inc. to collaborate on product development using sustainable ingredients, investigate opportunities to create sustainable fisheries, and expand relationships with local businesses.
“To the best of our knowledge, Dockside is the first brand in pet food products committed to using only ingredients from rescued fresh food and sustainable sources. We’re also keenly interested in reducing the industry’s reliance on traditional preservatives in favour of natural alternatives from Nova Scotia,” Warren says. “Research, therefore, will play a fundamental role in the ongoing development of our product lines and sourcing natural preservatives. As a small company we don’t have the research infrastructure or trained personnel to handle these initiatives. Perennia is uniquely positioned to provide those resources and their expertise has already paid off with the development of our first generation of pet treats, meal mixers, and meal toppers.”
Nova Scotia Business Inc. connected with Dockside to learn more about their plans and the impact Nova Scotia has had on the development of their new facility.
Why is Nova Scotia the right location for your business?
Nova Scotia is well known for its fresh air, clean water, and natural beauty. This resonates well with American pet owners who are interested not just in what goes into their pet’s food but also where it comes from. The local industries are well-developed and help is available from a government that is driven toward stimulating the local economy. By purchasing products from farmers and fishers that don’t make it to retail markets, we are helping to drive economic activity and creating a solution for products that would otherwise not be used.
What’s the best thing about doing business from Nova Scotia?
There are several benefits to establishing our business in Nova Scotia. Among the most important are access to abundant natural resources, a well-educated workforce, access to export markets, and government agencies willing and able to support our development here.
Who are your customers & what markets will you be serving from Nova Scotia?
Our core demographic in Canada and the United States is the millennial generation which is just beginning to participate in household formation and thus, pet ownership. This generation is aware of the need for sustainability to reduce our environmental impact. They care about reducing our carbon footprint, addressing the food waste crisis, and preserving our fresh water.
We are also looking overseas to places like India although, should we find ourselves there we’ll be taking a broader approach to market to the growing pet owner demographic as a whole.
What areas of research and development do you hope to explore in the new space?
One of the areas we are currently involved in is research and development of natural plant-based preservatives from sources found in the province. Additionally, in association with local cricket producer Midgard Insect Farm Inc., we are also performing research into cricket protein, an industry in its infancy that has tremendous potential to provide a sustainable and highly nutritious source of protein for pet food. We are also working on developing a line of nutritious broths. Something Perennia has already helped us with is using farm fresh cauliflower to develop a wheat-free, corn-free pasta featured in the first generation of meal mixers. And of course, as we find new sources for sustainable and rescued fresh food ingredients we will be working closely with Perennia to develop a second generation of the Dockside product line.
You have been working with Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) to establish your company, what role has NSBI played?
NSBI has been a key partner for DCCC in our efforts to establish the Dockside company and brand. NSBI has been our first point of contact in Nova Scotia and has been instrumental to our development by providing guidance, pairing us with other local agencies able to provide assistance, and introducing us to potential private sector partners. We would not be where we are today without their help.